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Equestrian Winter Wedding Inspiration

When Jessica Lewis PhotographyAnn Johnson Events, Christine Dahl Pastries, and Emmarose Floral join forces we know we better sit down, because the gorgeousness that ensues will sweep us off our feet. Filled to the brim with ethereal gowns, gold accents, and a stunning steed this inspirational shoot is sure to wow. Just take a peek below, it will have you pinning the day away, and you can get started right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch
Styles
Rustic

From Jessica Lewis Photography… Ann Johnson, the event coordinator, had a vision and put together something lovely. The dress and fur were gorgeous, and the venue could not have been better for a winter inspired styled shoot, with deep reds, and even a beautiful black horse.

From Ann Johnson Events… As the Grand Gates open to Whispering Rose Ranch, guests instantly feel the need to ditch the car wheel and grab the reigns of the next horse they see. The drive way is lined with well groomed, proud standing trees. As you look to the ranch’s hill you catch a glimpse of the owner’s house sitting peacefully. Approaching this home, deer and other wildlife bounce naturally in and out of foliage, this is their home too. The property contains a quiet side house for brides to prepare themselves to perfection. The groom’s room consists of historical cowboy antiques, a pool table, and a classic western style bar. During this shoot we journeyed around the massive property to capture the character of Whispering Rose. We made use of almost everything the property had to offer to us. After first seeing this ranch it was clear we needed to expose its dark romance. We captured this by introducing dark accent colors to the decor and mirrored the maroon on the brides lips. The dress was chosen for its etherial qualities and ability to conquer photographs. We brought in touches of gold, large floral arrangements, and an oversized sweetheart chair to glam up the feasting table. The raw wood table was effortlessly nestled right in between two rows of trees. Wide frames were used for the photography to be able to capture the broad organic settings we chose to shoot. Whispering Rose is a remarkable venue for a ranch style wedding but with a little bit of inspiration can be made into any bride’s ideal vision.

Photography: Jessica Lewis Photography | Event Planning: Ann Johnson Events | Wedding Gown: The White Peacock | Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries | Jewelry: The White Peacock | Hair: Red Studio (Rhia) | Florals: Emmarose Floral | Makeup: Marcella At Cos Bar Montecito | Rentals: Tent Merchant | Styling And Design: Ann Johnson Events | Wedding Venue: Whispering Rose Ranch Weddings

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Timeless Summer Wedding at Firestone Vineyards

Vineyards are where wedding dreams are made and when you toss in a talented team that includes Pure Joy Catering, TEAM Hair and Makeup, and Miki & Sonja, well, those dreams become reality. This timeless affair, with just the right amount of rustic touches, is the perfect way to kick start this busy week ahead and I’ll be soaking up every inch of this stunning gallery for the foreseeable future.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Vineyard
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride… We felt the most important elements of our wedding should reflect heritage, devotion, and appreciation. We wanted there to be a sense of tradition, with honor paid to age-old customs while simultaneously creating our own. We wanted each guest to feel the warmth and appreciation we felt for them.

The locations were chosen as a reflection of our histories. Although our paths have been scattered over Boston, New York, the Midwest, and Los Angeles, we wanted our wedding to reflect our hometown roots. A number of weekend events, including sailing, a coastal road trip, and welcome dinner, took place in Santa Barbara proper, with the sparkling Pacific ocean a reflection of Matt’s roots in a small sailing town just north of Boston. The wedding was held at a vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. We were married under an old tree in a clearing between the fields and vines, which felt like a tribute to my agricultural roots in a small farm town in Indiana.

The invitation suite was a combination of beautiful design and hand-made touches. The graphic design was created by our dear and talented friend, Anelise Salvo. The invitations were finished with details like vintage stamps and hand-pressed Myrtle, which I hoped would reflect the natural beauty of California that we wanted to be a key feature of our guests’ experience.

Other details including welcome baskets, a custom map, programs, place settings, and other paper goods were handmade. It’s truly amazing what you can do with a sewing machine and a home printer. In the days leading up to the wedding my family and girlfriends trickled into Los Angeles to help finish the DIY projects late into the night over champagne. My sister turned my kitchen into a makeshift bakery, making treats for the welcome baskets. In lieu of a traditional guest book, I collected old images of lovers from different eras and had them printed for guests to leave messages on the back.

Our florist created a setting that felt like an extension of the natural beauty of the vineyards. The bouquet was tied with a collection of lace – some vintage lace collected by my mother, some new. Our incredible florist incorporated this theme in subtle detail in the mothers’ wrist corsages and boutonnieres.

The ceremony was an eclectic mix of moments to pay homage to our individual family backgrounds. Selected Beatles songs were played by a four-piece string quartet. The mother of the Groom gave a touching performance of ‘Bei Mir Bistu Shein’, a catchy 1930’s rendition of an old Yiddish song loosely meaning “To Me You Are Lovely”. A cousin of the Bride performed a solemn and moving violin solo of ‘Ashoken Farewell’ to honor and remember our passed loved ones. The Officiant was a life-long friend of Matt’s, delivering a ceremony built upon our love story and personal vows.

The ceremony was followed by a sunset cocktail hour on a garden terrace overlooking the valley and mountains. The reception was held in the winery courtyard, with gorgeous green vines climbing the walls. The entrance and first dance songs were ‘Since I Met You Baby’ and ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’ by Sam Cooke, one of the crooners in the background during much of our relationship. Toasts, delicious food, and dancing under the stars sealed our celebration of love.

Photography: Miki And Sonja Photography | Videography: Cloudless | Event Planning: Nicole Arena Of Green Ribbon Parties | Floral Design: Oak And The Owl | Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones | Invitations: Anelise Salvo Design Co. | Jewelry: Ben-Amun Via BHLDN | Catering: Pure Joy Catering | Hair And Makeup: Mar Of TEAM | DJ: DJ Dos-a | String Quartet: Santa Barbara String Quartet | Alterations: L'ezu | Bridal Suite: Canary Hotel | Invitation Suite: Anelise Salvo Design Co. | Lace Bridal Robe: Girl With A Serious Dream | Letterpress: Aardvark Letterpress | Paper Goods / Decor: DIY By Bride And Bridesmaids | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Specialty Bread: Crazy Good Bread Company | Veil: Handmade By Mother Of The Bride | Vintage Car: Classic Motoring Car Rentals | Vintage Stamps: SeaJay Stamp & Coin | Wedding Venue: Firestone Vineyards | Welcome Baskets: DIY By Bride And Sister Of Bride

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Rustic Summer Wedding at Orcutt Ranch

I think I’ve seen the prettiest of the pretty and then along comes a show stopper like this one. These two beautiful brides captured my heart and my time, because I literally can’t stop going through every single photo in this gallery by Laurie Wilson of Gather West Photography. The Little Branch and Lavender Grey Events have lifelong fans in me and I’m starting my weekend off early with all this lovely right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch
Styles
Rustic

From A.J…. It was eight years ago that I met my wife on a snowy location while we were filming a movie. At the time, same-sex marriage was far from being legal, and as the years went on, our hopes of getting married in front of our family and friends started to fade. But our love didn’t. So, seven years into our relationship I decided to propose on another cold, snowy night in Boston, and thought that even if it wasn’t legal in our home state of California, at least we would be starting a new chapter. What we didn’t expect was same-sex marriage passing just months later and the outpouring of calls we received from friends and family asking – when’s the big day? Yikes! The pressure was on. It was really happening and we knew we had to start planning.

At first we didn’t know exactly where to begin – but we knew one thing. After two cold, snowy nights of memories, we wanted a warm night of dancing under twinkle lights at a location that felt intimate, yet still expansive, merging our East Coast and Midwest backgrounds, yet keeping in Los Angeles, and putting together a celebration that would share what we love – creative design, a communal feel, and culinary deliciousness.

With a small budget to work with, we had difficulty finding an outdoor venue in our range. We were close to giving up and then I discovered one last option – Orcutt Ranch in West Hills – an affordable location that provided a beautiful blank canvas to make our own. I had scored big points with my wife on this venue find, but the truth is everything else is the DIY magic of Annie. From the invitation and ceremony program design, to the hand-stamped lavender satchels for blessings during and after the ceremony, to the glitter gold A & A that glistened in the window of our on-site pop-up Sweet Shoppe. Granted, the DIY projects didn’t always go so smoothly. To this day there’s still disco shrubs in our backyard covered in gold paint!

As Annie continued month after month with DIY projects, and we were guided by our extraordinary coordinator, Lauren, I entered the decision making on the things I knew best – food and flowers. And since we saved money on our venue cost, we were able to splurge a little. We eat organic and love farm-to-table so Heirloom was a definite to create a foodie’s paradise complete with a Crostini Station. While sipping Lavender Whiskey Sours and nibbling on pickled everything, our guests then segued to a rustic family style dinner offering 24-hour braised short rib, halibut with fennel, and beet ravioli.

When it came to florals we wanted them to feel unique and alive – each table to have its own terrarium of succulents and moss cohabitating with pops of fresh flowers. We wanted it to feel earthy and grounded. The Little Branch took these ideas and delivered beyond our expectations. From the centerpieces to the bridal bouquet to the ceremony backdrop, we fell in love with the beauty surrounding us. It’s rare that life feels magical, but it did that day.

Of course the day before we had a panic attack because the forecast predicted rain on our wedding day. When does it ever rain in August in LA?!? Our officiant, Venice-based Kundalini instructor Guru Jagat, calmed us and said that if it rained a little it would be auspicious, and if we were lucky, we’d even have a rainbow. Well, light drizzle that morning gave way to gorgeous light, and as our first dance was ending, our DJ grabbed the attention of everyone and pointed up. Yes, unbelievably so, a rainbow. A most perfect, surreal moment, on a most perfect, surreal day overflowing with love and endless sweets, of course.

Photography: Laurie Wilson Of Gather West Photography | Design: Brides And Lauren Colley - Lavender Grey Events | Floral Design: The Little Branch | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Jewelry: Topshop | Rings: Tiffany's | Catering: Heirloom LA | DJ: Haute Mobile Disco | Officiant: Guru Jagat Of Roma Institute | AJ's Shoes: Tory Burch | Andrea's Shirt: Burberry | Andrea's Shoes: Tory Burch | Annie's Comb: BHLDN | Annie's Shoes: J. Crew | Bar: Sunseris | Bridesmaids' Dress: Delia's | Coordination: Lauren Colley - Lavender Grey Events | Desserts: Cake Monkey | Makeup/Hair: Brittany Leslie | Rentals: Town And Country | Suit: Dolce And Gabbana | Wedding Venue: Orcutt Ranch

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here